Characterizing the Munich Accord as a “peace without virtue” compared to which the Treaty of Versailles was a “great humane document,” Dorothy Thompson severely condemns in her syndicated column, published in the New York Herald Tribune, the agreement’s failure to provide protection for minorities groups, including Jews, in the ceded Sudeten areas of Czechoslovakia.
“This document,” Miss Thompson asserts, “provides no protection whatsoever for the lives of the political minorities, their properties or their existence. Not a clause indicates that they are to be protected in any manner from this occupation. Those of us who know and have seen what the Nazi authorities do to political minorities realize that this can only result in a panicky flight into the interior of Czechoslovakia. It means the open establishment of terror.
“No consideration is paid anywhere in this fantastic document to the reapportionment of financial and industrial interests — banks or industries the ownership of which is not necessarily on the spot — and this in spite of the fact that the British and French governments know that in the occupation of Austria the property of political minorities, and in particular of Jews, was simply confiscated or Looted.”
Declaring Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain is either “another Von Papen, The unwitting dupe and tool of a powerful conspiracy, or he is a fellow-conspirator,” Miss Thompson concludes:
“Let us not call this peace. Peace is not the absence of war. Peace is a positive condition — the rule of law. This peace has been established on lawlessness and can only maintain itself by further lawlessness. This peace has been established by dictatorship and can only maintain itself by further dictatorship. This peace has been established on betrayal and can only maintain itself by further betrayal. ‘Peace,’ said Spinoza, ‘is virtue caused by strength of spirit.’ This is not peace without victory, for the victory goes to Mr. Hitler. This is peace without virtue. Therefore it is not peace — but the initiation of a terrific world crisis.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.